Many common campus activities involve copyright, and so it is critical that all Stanford faculty, students and staff have a working understanding of copyright law as it impacts their daily lives. The Stanford University Libraries provide this Copyright Reminder to ensure that all members of the Stanford community have access to that critical information. The Copyright Reminder highlights common campus copyright concerns, and outlines the fundamental elements of US copyright law that apply in those situations.
While copyright holders rights are exclusive, there are some exceptions built in to copyright law that allow works to be used without permission of the copyright holder in very specific conditions. The five major exceptions that are used in the academic environment are:
- Fair Use (Section 109 of Title 17)
- First Sale (also Section 109 of Title 17)
- Face-to-face teaching (Section 110 of Title 17)
- Distance learning (TEACH Act), and
- Library and archives exceptions (Section 108 of Title 17)
The specific situations in which each of these exceptions applies are outlined below. For works in copyright, unless one of these exceptions applies to your situation, you need permission to copy, distribute, or display the work. Note that there is no general exception for educational use.